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Michigan State trustee Nancy Schlichting resigns over lack of Nassar probe

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Posted at 3:34 PM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 15:56:48-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan State University Trustee Nancy Schlichting has resigned over the school's lack of investigation into Larry Nassar

Former Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Schlichting to the board in December 2018 to fill the term vacated by former board member George Perles. That term ends on Jan. 1, 2023.

Perles resigned in November 2018, more than two months after a former student athlete for the Spartans alleged she was drugged, raped and impregnated by Larry Nassar in 1992, and that Perles, who was the athletic director at the time, helped cover it up.

In a letter to the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer dated Saturday, Schlichting said she "did not come to this decision easily," and that she fully supports new President Samuel Stanley.

"I joined the Board to provide expertise from my long career leading complex healthcare organizations, and my extensive governance experience serving on more than 80 boards. More importantly, I joined the Board to help change the attitudes and beliefs of the legacy Board members towards the extraordinary young women who have survived sexual assault by Larry Nassar, and to support the survivors in every way I could," she said.

Schlichting said that MSU Board Chair Dianne Byrum, Trustee Joel Ferguson, Trustee Melanie Scott and Trustee Brianna Scott do not share her "commitment to have an independent review of the Nassar situation, and to waive privilege so the truth can come out.

"After the recent decision to not go forward with the independent review/public report, which had been approved by the Board, initiated and organized by Trustees Dan Kelly, Kelly Tebay, Brian Mosallam and me, and supported by 3 courageous survivors; I decided I could no longer serve on the Board. I deeply regret that my Board service has been so short, but hope that the next appointed trustee will be able to make a greater impact than I have," she said.

“Nancy brought tremendous experience managing large organizations to her role on the MSU Board of Trustees,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “I’m sorry that she is stepping down, but I wish her much personal success and happiness with her other projects. We valued her insight and contributions while she was with us."

Schlichting spent 14 years as CEO of Henry Ford Health System, and had served n more than 80 corporate and community boards, according to her bio on the Michigan State website.

Former President Barack Obama also appointed Schlichting to chair the Commission on Care to create a 20-year strategic plan for veterans' health care.

“Governor Whitmer is grateful to Trustee Schlichting for her service to the university. The governor takes her responsibility to appoint a new trustee very seriously," a statement reads from Whitmer's office. "She is committed to appointing someone who will work together with President Stanley and the remaining board members to build a campus culture that respects diversity, listens to survivors, and makes a college education more affordable and accessible for Michigan families.”